Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Journal: New Plan

Reposted from email:

Okay! So, new plan. We are doing a true flip flop, meaning that I am sitting in Maine the day before climbing Katahdin. There was no advance notice to give since we made the decision upon walking into the ATC to register the completion of our first half. There is a new trail journals entry! Maybe there will be more than 10 for the next 1000 miles. 


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Journal: Flipping and Flopping

Reposted from email:

Hello! Please accept my apologies for the radio silence. Here's the scoop:
Tomorrow, Sweet n' Sour and I are hiking into Harpers Ferry. From there we will be flipping to NY and hiking north. We will summit Katahdin around mile 1900 and then have a cooldown and retrospective hike from NY into Harpers Ferry.

The last couple of weeks have been slightly crazy. It started with the storm and record heat. Then we night hiked to avoid the heat.  With stories of murder, strange deaths, and lightning storms we soon wearied of night hiking. At Waynesboro we heard that the heat was about to break so we waited it out and switched back to days. Shenandoah was quickly cleared. The one constant has been unpredictability.
We're currently staying at Bears Den hostel - run by the ATC. It's a beautiful building and a great place. More on that later. For now, sleep and hiking to Harpers in the morning.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Journal: Weathering the Weather

Reposted from email:

Merry checking in. This heat is messing with our schedules and mileage. The other day we climbed a 1000 foot mountain in 97 degrees (we carry thermometers now). There was no choice because water was on the other side. Climbing mountains in the heat is really hard and not a very good idea. So our routine has to change again - to hiking mostly at night. The first full night hike is tonight.

You may be wondering if that storm that came through hit us. That night we were turning into bed when a roaring started far in the distance. Two minutes later debris screamed through the air pelting our tents and the sound and pressure became intense. It sounded like a freight train passing only feet away. Sweet n' Sour and I fled camp, running down the mountain. We left all of our gear, the threat was so large and we had so little warning. I wasn't even wearing my shoes. 

For an hour we sat on the lee side of the mountain, only 200 feet from our camp at the ridge top, watching the flashes of lightning and listening for the roaring wind to slacken. In a lull we ran to camp, grabbed as much gear as we could and ran back down the mountain. While the wind roared and lightning flashed 200 feet away, the lee was silent and still. Very little rain fell.

Before two hours passed, it was all over. Large trees were down all around camp. The ground was a carpet of green leaves. Our tents survived and so did all of our gear. The next day we moved many trees from the path and climbed over many more that required a saw. The power of that storm was awesome.

Now I'm hiking towards Waynesboro where my new weather radio will be waiting for me. But that's not until 5 or 6 pm when the heat breaks.
Hiking on,